Not being sure of whether one will make a good impression or not makes some people dread meeting their bosses for the first time and broadcast journalist, Abena Owusu-Nyamekye was no exception.
The young lady who has lived in Kumasi all her life just could not manage a wink of sleep the day before meeting her boss, Bola Ray, when she landed a job as a broadcast journalist at Starr FM one of the outfits of the EIB Network family.
“I was so scared the first time I was going to meet my CEO Bola Ray. I couldn’t sleep but he was very cool when I met with him. He has this aura of encouragement around him making one feel at ease. He is someone I really look up to”, she told Showbiz in an interview last week Thursday.
Bola Ray is not the only person she admires in the EIB family. “I look up to many people among whom is Nana Aba Anamoah. It is not because she is my boss at GHOne but that she is phenomenal and I like the way she approaches issues in the workplace. Then there is Bernard Nasara who critiques my work and also inspires me’, the broadcast journalist at Starr FM and GHOne TV added.
Talking of her journey to the EIB Network, Abena said, “I came to Accra from Kumasi where I had lived all my life and was supposed to work at Power FM but it was sold the week I had to start working. I therefore ended up at Starr FM where I read the news. Along the line, GHOne TV was bought and became part of the EIB Network family. I now report and read the news at both stations.
“I remember on May 25, 2016, Nana Aba Anamoah asked me to sit in for her on State of Affairs, one of the flagship programmes on GHOne TV, that was my first time hosting the show. Two weeks after that, she was indisposed so I sat in for her again. This resulted in me sitting in for her anytime she was away. So that is how I became the other host of the programme,” she said.
Abena has come a long way and done well for herself as she lost both parents by age 10. Her mother, Theresa Akua Oforiwaa, passed when she was just nine years old.
As if that was not enough, her father, Joseph Kofi Owusu, also died a year later. Abena who had to live with her grandmother after her parents’ demise had to sell kenkey and doughnuts at a point to support her upkeep.
Prior to her moving to Accra from Kumasi, Abena who is currently reading Development Communications at the African University College of Communications had a stint with Radio Estacy and Capital Radio.
Recalling how she got into radio in the first place, Abena said “I went to Capital Radio and spoke to the manager about a part-time job with them since I worked elsewhere but they were not willing to hire me.
“Fortunately for me, former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings’ National Democratic Party (NDP) had a congress that weekend and I reported for them. I guess they were impressed so on the following Monday, I had a call from Capital Radio and the rest they say is history.
“At Capital Radio, I read the news and hosted a health programme ,Your Health on Sundays. I have to say a big thanks to Joseph Opoku-Gakpo, a colleague journalist for being instrumental at that time,” she said.
Touching on some of the challenges she goes through as a journalist, Abena said, “Sometimes when you want to create contacts for sources especially with the men, they start having ulterior motives and when you are not game, you end up not getting any scoops and that can be frustrating,” she said.
Recounting an embarrassing situtation in her line of duty, Abena said it was during the power crises, “I was interviewing Sam Fletcher who was the Head of Communications at the Volta River Authority. Along the line, he said something that made it obvious I wasn’t on top of issues. I was really embarrassed but it taught me a lesson. Since then, I never go into the studio unprepared.”
Abena’s childhood was such that she had to attend different primary schools such as the Komfo Anokye Preparatory, Owass Basic School, Asokore Mampong Basic School, St Joseph’s Catholic JHS and Prince of Peace Girls School (SHS).
She recalls that her mother really encouraged her to read. Her mother would buy newspapers and ask her to read out to her and that has gone a long way to help her.
Abena is currently in a relationship and says her boyfriend is a good man. She loves cooking, watching movies and listening to music in her spare time. Her best colour is blue and her fovourite food is Jollof.
This is her message to young people out there, “I think that life is difficult, because of my experience, nothing surprises me but I would urge you to trust your process and stick to your goal.”
In the nearest future this is what she wishes for herself, “I pray for things to happen to me but sometimes it overwhelms me. I want to be better than I am, a better Journalist, a better Christian, to be able to give it my all. Whatever I do, people should be able to feel the impact.”
She expressed her gratitude to everyone who has been supportive of her especially Dr Kwabena Duffour, owner of EIB Network and her adopted parents, Mr and Mrs Domfeh both traders at the Kumasi Central Market.